Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret – it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
As I have observed before, waiting for the Lord is an important Christian discipline (not just waiting on Him). ‘Patience’ is one of the nine ‘flavours’ of ‘the fruit of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22,23), and how greatly we need the Holy Spirit’s help in this area, because most of us are not naturally patient.
The big picture painted by this psalm is that of a topsy-turvy world in which the wicked often seem to do well, while the godly fare badly. But David assures us that if we await God’s timing, in just a “little while” (10) the scales will be balanced, and every wrong will be righted. The Lord will set everything straight: “…the meek…will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5, see verse 11). The problem for us, however, is that this “little while” seems to take so long!
Of course this principle can be applied at the micro (as well as the macro) level: to trying situations where we ourselves need patience to know the next step. We’re aware that these are comparatively small matters, when compared, for example, with all the violence and injustice in the world. Nevertheless, they are big to us, and they matter in our eyes.
In his introduction to Michael Yankoski’s book, ‘Under the Overpass’, Francis Chan writes:
‘ I was warned when entering seminary that if I was not careful, a dangerous habit could form: I could learn to read the Bible and do nothing in response. I still remember our seminary president warning us that study to the neglect of action becomes easier and easier with each occurrence. We should be terrified if we have mastered the art of becoming convicted and doing nothing in response.’
Today, I don’t want to theoretically accept the truth that I need to wait on the Lord, but actually do it. I know I will need God’s grace for this, but it is possible. Will you join me? If you have done everything you know to do, and God hasn’t yet shown you the next step, let me encourage you to wait for Him to reveal it to you in His way and time. He is infinitely trustworthy.
PRAYER: Lord, I do so want to obey your Word. I know it is the only way to live. Please help me.
(P.S. Today’s reading opens with the words Be still. It includes the idea of being silent, and ‘describes calm surrender to the Lord’ (Warren Wiersbe – see also Psalm 62:5). For many years now, I have begun most days by making a cup of tea, sitting in a familiar chair, and just being quiet before God for 10-15 minutes. It has become such a grounding experience that I cannot imagine not doing it. It may not be for everyone, but I mention it because I’ve found it such a help. However you work out the truth of today’s verses, may God bless you in the pursuit)